A DIY tipi wedding in North Yorkshire

23 Oct 2019

After an unfortunate end to a weekend away, Joe Bagley proposed to Libby Phillipps who had already set a wedding date - unbeknownst to Joe

How did you meet?

We met while I was working at a local pub where we both grew up.

Tell us about the proposal.

We had just spent the weekend at Moor Cottage with family and Joe had accidently given me food poisoning, then left early on the Sunday (to pick up the ring, which I didn’t know about so I was just cross that he’d left me to clean up).

On the Monday he went to ask my dad if he could ask me to marry him. He then went out on a bike ride and by the time he came home I was still recovering from being ill and ready to go to bed. Then he got down on one knee in our living room and told me he loved me, and asked me to marry him. Little did he know that I was fed up of waiting and had already booked the wedding date!

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

I wanted to base the wedding around things we love so we had an outdoorsy, festival, bohemian style wedding. We spent the day before decorating a tipi, setting up electrics and lighting the whole garden up with solar lights, fairy lights, candles and lanterns. The colours were brown, deep green and a mixture of pastels.

What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We marrried at The Mallyan Spout Hotel in Goathland and chose Moor Cottage for our reception because it means a lot to us. I’ve been going there since I was a little girl for family holidays and weekends away and I’ve been taking Joe since we met. We’ve had amazing weekends up there with family and friends and the place is like a second home to us.

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How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I must have tried on 20+ dresses, and when I put this one on I knew it was the one. There was a whole entourage with me and there were tears from most of them. Before my grandad passed away we also took him to show him the dress and he absolutely loved it. The designer was Jesus Piero and the shop was Elena Farrara, York.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

I had eight bridesmaids who all wore multi-way dresses in different pastel colours and two flowergirls who wore pom-pom skirts. 

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

Mum wore a beautiful dress from a local boutique in Pocklington.

Where did you find your suits?

Suited N Booted in Selby.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

Our flowers were from Folium Floral Designs, Rach was amazing and helped design arrangements to fit our colours and the outdoorsy vibe. She did flower crowns for me and my bridesmaids, flower hoops and hair pieces for the flower girls, my bouquet and buttonholes for the male wedding party. Following the wedding I donated my bouquet to St Leonard’s Hospice to say thank you for looking after my grandad.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day

We handmade everything, the favours were flowers for females, cufflinks for males and teddies for the kids. I made all the decorations around the garden and tipi, which included signs, lit up gin bottles, table runners, table names etc.

We also put on our own bar so guests could enjoy reasonably priced drinks and our family and friends worked together to create a rustic picnic full of our favourite foods for all day guests to enjoy. Our two dogs also joined us. A wonderful company called Tuna and Bear made a suit harness for Patrick and a flower collar for Patsy, which both matched Joe and I.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Terrified and emotional. I actually spent the three hours before throwing up because I was so nervous and was too scared to make eye contact with anyone in case I cried. I wish I could have convinced myself that it was going to be okay and not that scary.

How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

One of our bridesmaids read a reading for us.

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What was your most memorable moment?

I have three:

  1. Walking into the tipi to The Greatest Showman and everyone loving it.
  2. Leaving the tipi after speeches and food and having a fun photoshoot.
  3. And finally, the first dance; we had ‘mashed’ together two versions of Foo Fighters' Everlong. We chose the acoustic version so everyone could join in, then the original version towards the end where everyone jumped around and had huge smiles on their faces.

Also, just how wonderful our photographers were the whole day and with everyone.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Finishing off the final touches that took us about 12 hours to set up, even though there were 20 of us setting up. The poor bridesmaids helped me until gone 12am the night before the wedding and we were back outside by 6.30am the morning of the wedding to finish bits off.

What was the most important investment for you?

I think the tipi, it was absolutely brilliant. Totem helped us out and were wonderful from start to finish.

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

We had a DJ who was fabulous, we then put our playlist on and carried on until 3am.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

The wedding cake was made by my mother-in-law. It was a fantastic three-tier lemon cake with simple icing and Lynda made hessian flowers to tie into the theme of the day.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

I would tell myself that it’s not that scary walking down the aisle so I could chill out a bit. And I’d also get a videographer, I really wish we’d done that.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

Apart from throwing up, not on the day. But the day before we were really let down by the generator company and that was awful, we had to drive three hours and didn’t get it set up till 10.30pm the night before. That was a stress we could have done without.

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Did you have a custom hashtag for social media? If so, what was it?

We did. It was #Jobywed.

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

That walking out in front of your friends and family isn’t that scary. And also, not to worry about making everyone happy, everyone will have a great time.

Where did you go on honeymoon? 

We haven’t been yet, we are going in 2020 to Florida and Vegas.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Enjoy every bit of it, even the tough bits. It all goes so quickly from starting to plan to the actual day itself.

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Steal their style: 

Photography: Charlotte Atkinson Photography
Evening catering (pizzas): The Food Box, Ryan Murph 
Magic mirror: R&R Occasions
Tipi: Totem Tipi 
Dog accessories: Tuna and Bear
Flowers: Folium Floral Design
Hair: Matt Gallier, Carly Kane (assistant)
Make-up: Eleanor Jayne Makeup Artistry

For more Yorkshire wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Yorkshire Bride magazine.

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